MODA Student

Fashion Design and Development

 This program is offered in-person.

Design and development professionals use their creative and technical skills to design products, develop patterns, monitor quality control and assurance and coordinate sourcing activities in apparel and soft goods companies. The major meets increasing industry demand for graduates who understand the industry's design and merchandising aspects. The design and merchandising functions are becoming more interrelated as apparel firms rely increasingly on private brands; and apparel manufacturers assume a more prominent retailing role. Students who elect this option take design, merchandising, and business courses to prepare them for challenging careers in apparel manufacturing, marketing, and retailing companies.

Prospective students may arrange a department visit by contacting Kelly Weathers.

Why fashion design and development at Western Michigan University?


Find fast success: 97% of 2020-2021 program graduates were employed or continued their education within three months of graduation.

Hands-on learning: Academic quality and experiential focus. Many transformative learning experiences are offered students, including field experiences, internships, and industry tours.

Industry networking: A strong connection to the fashion industry through a professional advisory board represented by top industry members and a strong alumni base

International experiences: Up to 24 credit hours may be earned through study abroad or with our partnerships with the Fashion Institute of Technology in New YorkRegents University and London University of the Arts in London, or Florence University of the Arts in Italy.

Display your work: Annual fashion show sponsored by Merchandising Opportunities and Design Association (MODA). Read about the 2022 MODA fashion show

Nationally recognized: FMD program is the second-largest program in Michigan with integrated merchandising and design programs and is accredited by the prestigious Textile and Apparel Programs Accreditation Commission (TAPAC) and National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The designation of accreditations is a recognition of the quality of Western Michigan’s FMD program. Parents, students, and employers of the graduates can be assured that the FMD program has undergone rigorous peer review and that the program provides their graduates with skills and knowledge for professional careers in the apparel and textile industry. To learn more about the importance of accreditation and the benefits it offers students, please check out additional details at FMD accreditation and mission.

Additional information

Hear it from us

"My favorite thing in the program is learning how to design from concept to completion."

- Izzy, fashion design and development student


  • Study Abroad

    Study Abroad

    Students are encouraged to pursue additional educational opportunities through one of the FMD specific study abroad programs.

    Learn more

  • WMU Signature

    All WMU students have the option to stand out with an integrative learning project in one of several pathways including arts and culture, entrepreneurship, sustainability and more!

    Learn more

  • Visit Campus

    There's simply no substitute for seeing WMU for yourself and experiencing a little slice of what makes WMU so unique and beloved. In-person and virtual tours are available.

    Schedule a visit

Our faculty

  • Dr. Mary Simpson

    Dr. Mary Simpson

    Assistant Professor


  • Dr. Chitra Singh

    Dr. Chitra Singh

    Assistant Professor


  • Kelly Weathers

    Kelly Weathers

    Faculty Specialist II


  • Dr. Zee-Sun Yun

    Dr. Zee-Sun Yun

    Associate Professor and Program Coordinator